Outstanding rating for “awe-inspiring’ farm nursery

Staff at Meadow Lane Children's Nursery are celebrating after their latest Oftsed inspection.

Staff at Meadow Lane Children's Nursery are celebrating after their latest Oftsed inspection. - Credit: Archant

The nursery operates as a “farm nursery” allowing children to grow their own food.

Staff at a St Ives-based "farm nursery" are celebrating after Ofsted inspectors gave them an outstanding rating.

Meadow Lane Children's Nursery situated at The Old Pig Farm has been described as a "very special" and "unique" nursery where "children are truly at the heart".

This was the first inspection for the nursery after it opened in 2017 with them rating "outstanding" in; the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development and leadership and management.

The report said: "Children are truly at the heart of this very special, unique and awe-inspiring provision. They thrive as they thoroughly enjoy the huge range of indoor and outdoor learning opportunities. Children are wonderfully muddy, covered in paint and joyfully engaged in their learning. They make impressive progress in every aspect of their learning and development, especially those with special educational needs and/or disabilities."


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The nursery is family run with the "farm nursery" allowing children are outside raising animals and growing vegetables.

Inspectors also praised the quality of teaching saying: "The quality of teaching is worthy of dissemination to others. Staff are extremely well qualified and use their excellent knowledge of early years in every interaction they have with children. This benefits every area of children's learning at all ages and is why children achieve as they do while at this provision."

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The nursery which has 23 members of staff, was also commended for their relationships with parents saying "parents about the provision are overwhelmingly positive, some go well out of their way to bring their child to this provision because they recognise its uniqueness."

Owner, Sophia Covill said: "We are a farm nursery, raising animals and growing our own veg, the staff are incredibly passionate about our unique approach to teaching (Reggio Emilia Approach) and we plan to offer Professional Development to other settings in the future, along with getting some bees and alpacas.

"We have been absolutely blown away with how wonderful our Ofsted report was this week. We were announced Outstanding in all areas, this was our first inspection and within a new framework, it is very rare to achieve this in the 2 and a half years of being open.

"We are a family run business too, my father and brother built the purpose-built the Nursery and I manage it here. "

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